Initiatives

UNSW Learning Environments initiatives are transforming the existing university campus into flexible and dynamic teaching and learning spaces. Our initiatives not only support a range of learning styles and experiences from formal classroom learning to blended learning, but they also support our teaching community in the adoption and practice of an active learning pedagogy.

Below you can see a list of our current initiatives that are supported by the wider university community.

Strategy 2025 Initiatives

As part of our 2025 Strategy Initiatives, we have delivered 85 active learning teaching spaces as well as over 2,500 student-led and study spaces. These spaces are all located in precincts that are spread throughout Kensington campus.

Law Library Student Lead Space

In partnership with UNSW Law Library, the transformation of the existing Law Library space created an additional 805 quiet, individual study spaces to accommodate for the demand of UNSW students and provide a much-needed uplift in the standard of current facilities.

Students now have improved access to more library study spaces, power, and high-speed WiFi thereby enhancing their learning experience. Our Law Library initiative supports the needs of our growing student population through the design of an innovative world-class learning environment that is high quality, inclusive and flexible. 

Mathews Student Space

The Mathews & Goldstein Teaching Precinct consists of 16 collaborative and interactive spaces that provide students and staff with physical teaching and learning spaces as well as embedded digital technologies.

The two active learning precincts include: 

  • an additional 532 student seats across the 16 active learning teaching spaces
  • an additional 80 student-led and study spaces across the two precincts
  • increased availability of spaces that encourage small group discussion, collaboration, participatory, project-based and peer-to-peer learning
  • location of two precincts service staff and students across Kensington's lower-middle campus (Goldstein) and upper campus (Mathews)
Quad Business School Precinct

The Quadrangle & Business Teaching Precinct consists of active learning spaces across the Quadrangle (ground and first floors) and Business School (first and second floors). 

The precinct includes: 

  • 7 interactive learning spaces, with pod-style seating, screen sharing, and moveable furniture
  • 21 collaborative learning spaces, with configurable furniture and whiteboards for group work
  • 8 'turn and learn,' power-enabled lecture theatres, with whiteboards on the walls
  • 1,531 student seats across all active learning spaces in the precinct
  • 913 new student-led and study spaces across the precinct with zones for scholarly, collaborative, social and community learning
  • Reactivation of the Webster Courtyard creating an additional 170 student-led and study spaces

High-speed wi-fi is integrated throughout the Precinct. The Precinct also facilitates pedestrian flow between the Quadrangle and the Business School buildings by building a new internal linkage between Level 2 Business School and Level 1 Quadrangle.

 

Red Centre Gallery Initiative

In partnership with UNSW Built Environment, the Red Centre Gallery West Wing student-led space has been transformed into a world-class student-led facility offering:

  • 220 newly created student spaces available to all UNSW students
  • a newly refurbished exhibition space on the ground floor
  • audiovisual technology integrated into student study pods supporting student collaboration
  • a new Higher Degree Research Student Lab and maker-space on the mezzanine level

It enhances the Active-Learning initiative by providing students with the opportunity to engage in scholarly, collaborative and social learning outside of the classroom. It also supports the Inspired Learning Initiative creating an enriched environment for learning with access to study space, power and high-speed WiFi.

The Active Learning Initiative

UNSW Learning Environments Initiatives

The Active Learning initiative was established to address the challenges faced by academics in the use and adoption of active learning spaces available on Kensington campus. These challenges include:

  • awareness about the types of space available and how they can be accessed
  • support with the effective use of the technology within these spaces
  • lack of awareness on the latest trends in teaching and learning and exemplars from within UNSW on effective active learning techniques in the classroom.

The Active Learning initiative works with academics to support the adoption and practice of an active learning pedagogy by forming links and leveraging from other initiatives within the UNSW community like summative peer review, educational-focused positions, and academic development.

The Active Learning initiative allows us to gather feedback, improve communications, realign administrative processes and develop best practice resources. Through this initiative, we’ve developed five areas of opportunity:

  1. A 360-degree interactive tour of an active learning space
  2. New signage which outlines suggested furniture configurations that promote Active Learning teaching within a CATS classroom
  3. Active Learning Best Practice Guide v2.0
  4. Active Learning Framework for Large Cohort Sizes
  5. Active Learning Teaching Resources